Politics

Poll: Alex Sink Trades Places With Rick Scott

Democrat takes lead in tracking poll; Republican losing independents
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: October 15, 2010 4:05 AM
Sunshine State News Poll--Alex Sink and Rick Scott

Rick Scott and CFO Alex Sink

Swapping positions, Democrat Alex Sink has taken a lead over Republican Rick Scott in Florida's tightly contested gubernatorial race, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll.

The fall campaign's first nightly tracking poll of 2,000 likely voters shows Sink moving ahead of Scott, 48-45. That's a 9-point swing since Oct. 6, when Scott led Sink, 50-44.

Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the polls, cautioned that the results are "not conclusive that Sink is ahead. We will see ebb and flow in nightly polling."

Still, Lee called the swing toward Sink in the latest Oct. 12-13 sampling "fairly significant."

"While the 3-point margin is still on the cusp of the poll’s 2.2 percent margin of error, it nevertheless represents statistically significant movement when compared back to Oct. 6 because it’s a net swing of 9 points (Sink up 4, Scott down 5)," Lee said.

Why Scott might be stumbling amid a Republican surge is an open question.

Sink spokeswoman Kyra Jennings said, “Every day Floridians are learning the truth about Rick Scott and these latest polls show that character counts in this race."

Kenneth Quinnell, director of the Florida Progressive Coalition, offered, "Sink is pulling ahead because she's running a series of well-made ads that include Republicans criticizing Scott for his past."

Indeed, the wounds from Scott's bloody primary battle against party favorite Bill McCollum continue to fester, with the Sunshine State News Poll showing Scott garnering a relatively lackluster 79 percent of Republicans. That's a lower percentage than other statewide GOP hopefuls, such as attorney general candidate Pam Bondi, who captures 85 percent of Republicans.

SSN Governor Race Poll Table -- Alex Sink and Rick Scott
Scott's camp maintains that Sink, under fire this week for granting insurance licenses to felons, and carrying the baggage of an unpopular Democratic president, has seen her best days.

"We always knew this was going to be a close race and considering this is probably the worst news day of Alex Sink's career, more than likely her supporters will be jumping from her sinking ship over her authorizing criminals to access the private and personal information of Floridians," said Scott spokesman Joe Kildea.

But Quinnell suspects the aggressive attacks that won the nomination for Scott might be wearing thin.

"Scott is flooding the airwaves and probably annoying more people than he's winning over with ads that actually bring up some of his own problem areas, such as fraud," Quinnell said.

The overnight poll shows Sink gaining traction with independents as she tries to ply a middle-of-the-road message. While Florida independents are breaking toward Republicans this year, that group -- which constitutes more than one-quarter of the electorate -- favors Sink over Scott 50-41 in the latest survey.

Ironically, even as Scott tries to warm up the GOP machine, he may be losing his edge among tea partiers and independent-minded voters.

"Hopping in bed with the RPOF after defeating them makes him look like the wheeler-dealer that McCollum said he was," said one Florida political strategist speaking on condition of anonymity.

A Republican consultant, also speaking privately, said that aside from Scott's tough TV ads, "There's not a sense among a lot of people that he's out there."

"Marco (Rubio) may drag Scott over the finish line, but something's got to give."

Sink's campaign intends to keep pressing.

"This election will be close, but there is a critical choice for voters to make, and it's clear Floridians can't trust Rick Scott," Jennings said.

"In the final weeks, we are making sure that citizens compare Scott's history of deception to Alex Sink’s proven track record of integrity and effectiveness."

Sunshine State News is tracking all statewide races on a nightly basis, using a rolling sample of 2,000 likely voters across Florida.

(For a look at the poll crosstabs, click on the attachment below.)

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Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (772) 801-5341      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.




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Comments (1)

Ken
5:59PM OCT 20TH 2010
Scott even being considered just shows how pathetic and hateful the Republicans are. Republicans will sell their souls rather then vote for a liberal. No matter how good for the country or even their own familys the liberals could be they just cant do it. They will send their kids off to die for stupid republican wars. They will avoid the reality of Global warming and the millions who suffer and many more to come because liberals might believe it. They will even vote against health reform even if its good for millions who need it. Its not good of the country that motivates them nor has it ever been. Its only hate in their hearts

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